Our final full day in Bangkok saw us taking a late morning walk around Lumpini Park that’s located in the heart of the city. It happened to be Thai Fathers’ Day so there were quite a few families out and about.
The weather was really cool so it was a lovely walk around the greens.
From Lumpini Park, we walked over to Central World once again for lunch at Kum Poon. Kum Poon is one of the places Dad and I will make sure to visit whenever we’re in Bangkok. They specialise in Northern Thai cuisine which I thought would be nice to introduce to Naima and Martin.
A must-order is their Grilled Catfish.
It’s definitely not a looker but you know what they say: ‘The uglier the fish, the tastier it is!’. In the more European context, think: Monkfish. This catfish was so fresh and so beautifully cooked. Moist, tender, and deliciously especially when eaten with the spicy kick of the chilli sauce.
We also had an order of Charcoal Grilled Beef.
It was a little on the tough side. I wanted to order the Grilled Chicken (Gai Yang) initially but Naima and Martin said they’d prefer beef and I didn’t want to over-order. So beef it was.
Again, I had to order Som Tum.
You can almost never get a bad plate of Som Tum in Thailand. This one hit the spot for me.
Some veggies because we need our greens.
Simply stir-fried with garlic and oyster sauce. It was love for me!
And we ordered a plate of Prawn Pad Thai as well because when in Thailand, you definitely have to try Pad Thai.
Kum Poon’s rendition didn’t disappoint. There was what we call ‘dragon’s breath’ or ‘wok hei’ that imparted a light smoky charred flavour to the noodles which were bouncy and slightly chewy. Mix in the ground dried chilli, crushed peanuts, and a squeeze of fresh lime and you get a combination that never fails to tickle the tastebuds.
They didn’t have Mango Sticky Rice available for dessert so we took a few steps over to this one kiosk specialising in all things Mango Sticky Rice-ish.
Naima, Martin and Flo were extremely happy with their dessert. Mangoes are currently in season so the mangoes were perfectly sweet. The glutinous rice was served slightly warmed and topped with coconut cream. Flo often tells me that they always remind him of Rice Pudding that they used to eat back in Germany.
After our stomachs were filled, Naima and Martin decided to trawl the mall with the goal of shopping. Flo and I decided to go for a massage and we all agreed to meet at a designated spot 2 hours later. Only… Flo and I spent an hour looking for a massage place around the area and couldn’t find one that we were happy with budget-wise. With time running out, we ended up returning back to Central World, sitting ourselves at Mr. Jones’s Orphanage, and treating ourselves to some tea/cappuccino, and for Flo, a serving of plain waffles.
Green tea for me…
We spent quite a bit of time people-watching and there were cute-kids galore passing by every so often. This picture I took of Flo smiling so widely was just after a cute little girl went past with her parents. It was kind of candid but I like it a lot!
Then of course my dear boyfriend had to point out that his hands look ginormous in this picture. Hahaha…
They don’t actually serve plain waffles at the cafe but we somehow managed to explain to them that we wanted waffles without the cream and ice cream and fruit, and the server finally understood and pandered to our wishes.
It took quite a while before the waffles were served but they got two thumbs up from Flo!
In the evening, just before sun set, we went to Wat Pho to see the Reclining Buddha. I’ve been here before years ago but forget just how magnificent the statue is.
I had to use ‘Panorama’ on my camera (iPhone 7 Plus) to capture the whole thing!
The temple in which the Reclining Buddha is housed had intricate paintings all over their walls and their pillars were gold-painted.
Along the side, you’ll see a whole line of bowls. These are monk’s bowls and if you drop small coins into each one, it is said that you’ll receive good luck.
You can walk around the Temple Complex where you’ll see a lot of these ‘chedis’ containing ashes of the royal family.
There are also a few halls all intricate in architecture.
We kind of also stumbled into Phra Ubosot which is an ordination hall used for performing Buddhist rituals. Inside sat a gilded Buddha that was quite a sight to behold.
By the time we’d finished walking the grounds of Wat Pho, the last of day light had disappeared. Flo led us down nearer to the Chao Phraya River where we stumbled upon a restaurant/bar where we were able to go for a quick drink on their third floor and have the perfect view of Wat Arun.
It was breathtaking.
We Grab-ed (the Asian equivalent of Uber) over to New Rod Fai Night Market at Ratchada for dinner.
While Naima, Martin and Flo zeroed in on the fried chicken tenders, I saw this stall selling dumplings. They looked like the ones I really love here in Singapore but they were served cold and the chewy skin was far too thick to enjoy. 😦
What I really really enjoyed was this Salt-Crusted Grilled Fish.
The night market is littered with stalls selling this fish but we went for one on the side that had their menu written in Thai. The fish was stuffed with fresh herbs and what you do is you peel the skin right off and dig into its succulent, clean tasting flesh.
What I learnt though, is the for maximum satisfaction, take some cabbage, put some fresh herbs in the middle, along with a little bit of the rice noodles, top it with some fish and chilli dip, roll it up and eat it in one bite. SO. DAMN. GOOD!
The four of us shared this and personally, this was one of my favourite meals of the trip just because it was new to me, so simply cooked, but mind-blowingly tasty. And then I was full.
Naima and Martin had fun tucking into more chicken, yakitori and yakisoba as we made our way around the market. It was very sanitary and organised so definitely unlike the more typical, traditional, haphazard markets that one might think of when they think of markets in Asia. I enjoyed New Rod Fai Market and its overall vibe. If you’re a fan of seafood – grilled seafood, seafood in a bucket, tom yum seafood… then you’ll definitely love it here. There’s something for everyone of course, but there just happens to be something MORE for seafood lovers!